My first introduction to LinkedIn was back in 2008 while working for a marketing company in the St. Louis area. At that time, all of the employees were encourages to create an individual LinkedIn Personal Profile to promote the company and to connect with current vendors and potential customers. When I asked what LinkedIn was, I was told it was a “Facebook” for professionals.
Truthfully, what is it? LinkedIn is a social networking site focused on businesses. With basic free services and the ability to upgrade, it allows you to locate clients, colleagues, and business associates you already know and those you don’t. You “connect” through LinkedIn by creating a LinkedIn Personal Profile. A LinkedIn Personal Profile describes you. This includes your education, interests, career history, and other information that you want to share about yourself in a professional social network.
How do you use, improve, and optimize a LinkedIn Personal Profile effectively?
I asked myself the same question a few years back when I was first getting started with composing my LinkedIn Personal Profile. To make things a little easier for you, I have listed a few helpful tips below:
- Your Career Story. Summarize your professional background as a story. This makes it easy for potential employers to understand how you gained skills and expertise in your journey for a career. To strengthen your story, be sure to have a great network of contacts. This will demonstrate to potential employers that you are serious about your career.
- Who You Are. Describe who you are and be sure that it mirrors your resume. Be professional. After all, that is the type of employee that companies are looking for.
- Your Work Samples. Add media like videos, documents, links, images, and presentations to the Education, Experience, and Summary sections of your LinkedIn Personal Profile. This allows you to highlight samples of work and projects while optimizing your profile. Learn how to add work samples to your profile here.
- Professional Profile Photo. Send a strong message who you are. Casual and blurred photos relay that you are not serious about your career. Even worse, is not having a photo at all.
- Searchable Skilled Keywords. Use keywords to highlight your skills. If you want employers to find you, keywords are essential for search engine optimization.
- Endorsements of Skills and References. Ask supervisors, co-workers, customers, and clients to endorse your skills and to write references on your behalf. These will appear in your profile and are commonly searched by recruiters and hiring managers. Learn how to endorse someone’s skills here.
- Your Profile Link. Utilize a personal LinkedIn URL to share your profile. This adds another touch of professionalism. Learn how to create a personal LinkedIn URL here.
- Call to Action. Include your contact information. Once someone reads your story, finish by telling them what to do – contact you!
Would you like to comment on how to use, improve, and optimize a LinkedIn Personal Profile effectively? Suggestions are always welcomed!